What are whole grain foods?
Some examples of whole grain foods include:
- Wholemeal or whole grain breads
- dark ‘seedy’ breads,
- Whole grain breakfast cereals,
- Whole grain tortillas
- Brown rice,
- Brown pasta
- Rolled oats
Protection against diseases
Evidence-based scientific research has shown that if you regularly whole grain foods you have a lower risk of:
Other benefits of whole grain:
- More energy: Whole grain foods are a good source of B vitamins, iron and healthy carbohydrates. For example; a serve of wholegrain bread has a GI of around 47, which is considered a low GI carbohydrate (compared to white bread which has a GI of around 70). This means these carbohydrates breaks down slowly to gradually release glucose into the bloodstream, this helps to prolong energy throughout the day.
- Feel fuller for longer: The Low GI carbohydrate in whole grain foods also helps to regulate blood glucose levels, keeping us fuller for longer, and helping us eat fewer kilojoules throughout the day!
How much whole grain should you eat each day?
Did you know that most Australian adults eat less than recommended quantity of whole grain foods every day. The Australian dietary guidelines recommend for adults aged 19 to 50 years to eat 4 to 6 serves of grain (cereal) foods per day, with most of these should be whole grain.
One serve is (500 kJ) or:
- 1 slice (40 g) of bread
- ½ cup (75-120 g) cooked rice, pasta, noodles, barley, buckwheat, semolina, polenta, bulgur or quinoa
- ¼ cup (30 g) muesli
- 3 (35 g) crispbreads
- ½ cup of cooked porridge
- 1 crumpet
How to add more whole grain to your diet?
- Try a new type of wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereal.
- Check out the grain section of the supermarket or at a wholefoods store. Buy a new variety and use in place of pasta or rice. Wholegrains include barley, millet, rye and sorghum, corn, farro, freekeh, spelt and triticale.
- Try a mixed grain bread you have never had before.
- Serve brown rice or wholemeal noodles with a stir fry for a change.
- Popcorn is a wholegrain. Airpopped popcorn makes a healthy snack.
- Chop rolled oats or other grain up in a blender and use in place of bread crumbs for crumble topping.
- Make a fast quiche base by covering a pie dish with rolled oats or other grain, sprinkling with reduced fat grated cheese. Top with cooked vegetables and/or drained canned salmon or tuna. Pour on filling and bake in a moderate oven till cooked.
Take the healthy eating quiz today to get personalised feedback on your whole grains with tips on how to improve your overall eating habits!